Coalition calls for resignation of KCPD Police Chief Rick Smith, other demands

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KANSAS CITY, Mo — More than a hundred joined a zoom call Friday morning demanding the removal of police chief Rick Smith.

This happened even though both Mayor Quinton Lucas and Police Chief Rick Smith have been meeting regularly with community organizers on police reform. 

However, seven organizations have withdrawn themselves from the conversation because they say their demands are not being met. 

These are the organizations that comprise the coalition:
Black Rainbow
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) National Black United Front – KC
Operation Liberation
Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater KC (SCLC-GKC) Urban League of Greater Kansas City
Urban Summit of Kansas City

The coalition recently sent a letter to the media addressed to Mayor Lucas accusing him of Political posturing and performative politics.

These seven organizations skipped an in-person meeting held by the Mayor and Police Chief.

Instead, this morning they led a virtual meeting listing their demands that Mayor Lucas attended. 

Here is a list of their demands:

“We remain resolute in our demands: 

  • REMOVE Police Chief Rick Smith
  • DIVEST from KCPD by legislating a budget cut, whereas the total KCPD budget shall be reduced to 20% of the general fund as required by state law
  • INVEST in a community-established People’s Budget by redirecting KCPD funding to resources such as housing, healthcare, sustainable infrastructure and education
  • DISMANTLE the Office of Community Complaints
  • ESTABLISH an independent community-based and governed office of complaints
  • CREATE foot-chase policy on non-violent allegations which protect and serve
  • MANDATE the immediate suspension without pay for officers under criminal indictment
  • CREATE a transformative/strategic reparations plan for the families of those who have been murdered by KCPD
  • WITHHOLD pensions and don’t rehire officers involved in excessive force
  • REQUIRE officers to be liable for misconduct settlements
  • CAP overtime accrual + OT pay for military exercises
  • WITHDRAW participation in police militarization programs
  • ESTABLISH open records ordinance ensuring that officers’ misconduct information and disciplinary histories are not shielded from public
  • APPOINT special prosecutor to investigate alleged police misconduct in solidarity with justice and peace

signed, Black Rainbow.”

They say the most important demand of the list of 14 is the removal of Chief Smith

However, when recently asked he reiterated that he had no intention of retiring.

“From their point of view, it’s their right to call for my resignation. I made it pretty clear I intend to stay in my position,” Smith said.

Consequently, the coalition has asked Mayor Lucas to bring a vote of termination before the board of police commissioners.

In response, Mayor Lucas reminded them that because he is just one of five votes on the police board of commissioners, unless a majority of the board agrees to terminate Chief Smith he would remain in place. 

The coalition says they want the action regardless of the outcome.

“They want him to take a stand whether he has three votes on the board of police commissioners or not,“ Gwen Grant, CEO of Urban League of Greater Kansas City, said.

Mayor Lucas sent a letter to Missouri Governor Mike Parson with three names he recommends for police board of commissioners appointment. He hopes they could aid him in bringing change to local policing. 

“My goal is if this means we have open dialogue throughout the summer well into the future about how we can do better in Kansas City then that’s what this is all about,” Mayor Lucas said.

Representatives for the coalition said if their demands continue to go unmet, protests will become more frequent.

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